The next generation Jeep Wrangler might have an aluminum body and be assembled somewhere other than Toledo, Ohio, where it has been made since its inception as an Army vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said Thursday at the Paris Motor Show that the iconic Wrangler also could be built on a unibody, rather than a body on frame, structure.
"If the solution is aluminum, then I think unfortunately that Toledo is the wrong place because it requires a complete reconfiguring of the assets that would be cost-prohibitive," Marchionne said. "It would be so outrageously expensive that it would be impossible to work out of that facility."
As for a suitable location for the aluminum Wrangler, Chrysler plants in Mexico and Canada seem to be out of the question because Marchionne said he wants to preserve Wrangler's heritage as an American vehicle.
Plants in Sterling Heights and Belvidere, Ill., are able to build unibody cars and SUVs.
It's possible Toledo would produce another new vehicle, the full-size Jeep Wagoneer by 2018.
"I will never build a Wrangler outside of the U.S.," Marchionne said Thursday. "The commitment to Toledo was certainly in terms of Jeep, and I think the fact that we brought the Cherokee to Toledo is huge. We're selling over 200,000 of these."